Diabetes can cause some very nasty problems in various parts of your body. It's especially rough on your eyes, kidneys, feet, and vascular system as a whole. But if you suffer from diabetes, there's an easy way to protect yourself from these serious effects.

Researchers recently discovered that there's a way to stop glycation. Glycation is the process that makes high blood sugar so dangerous. When your blood sugar (glucose) is high, it can chemically fix itself to tissues in your body. That's glycation.

It's normal to have some glycation. But with high blood glucose, the process accelerates. Glycation irreversibly affixes glucose to membranes, hemoglobin, proteins, and other structures. It can severely impair their function. A common test for this process is hemoglobin A1c, which is a measure of glycated hemoglobin. The slower this process, the better for you.

The researchers found that the common nutrient l-carnitine offers significant protection in rats against this process. They fed the animals a high-fructose diet. Sixty percent of their calories came from fructose. Now that's a lot! The fructose-induced high blood sugar caused glycation in the rats' tissues.

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The researchers also fed the rats l-carnitine. The dose was 300 mg per kilogram per day. The treated rats had significantly lower glycation. The researchers found that the supplement was more effective than the known anti-glycation agent aminoguanadine. So the nutrient works better than the petro-chemical.

This was a rat study and the metabolism of rats is different from people's. However, carnitine is a very safe supplement with no known problems. It also helps you generate energy in your mitochondria.

The dosage used in the rats was high, about 21,000 mg for an average-sized man. You can buy l-carnitine in 500 mg capsules. If you have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, I would start at 1,000 mg three times a day. You can find l-carnitine at any health food store and on the Internet.

Ref: "L-Carnitine inhibits protein glycation in vitro and in vivo: evidence for a role in diabetic management," Rajasekar P, Anuradha CV, Acta Diabetol, 2007; 44(2): 83-90.

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